Homemade Hot Sauce… Why Not?

15 Jul

Mmmmmm, I love hot sauce! Furthermore, I LOVE chili peppers! I love the taste, smell, and hellish heat. I while back I decided to make some homemade hot sauce. I’ve made homemade BBQ sauce many times, but I have not done a sauce with chiles. I picked up 4 varieties of fresh chili and two of dried. I used Habanero, Naga Jolokia (now the hottest pepper on the planet), Jalapeno, and a red chili I found, but I’m not sure of its name. The dried peppers I used were Pasilla Negro and Chile de Arbol. I didn’t follow a recipe (I very rarely ever do except for baking). I kinda just went with it… hence the lack of a recipe for the blog.

I treated each fresh chili a little different. The Jalapeno peppers I cut and cleaned out the seeds and membrane (the membrane, not the seeds, is where the majority of the heat is). The seeds of the Jalapeno pepper tend to taste bitter when cooked. The remaining fresh chiles I left everything in because I wanted as much heat as possible. I ended up using an extra large ziplock bag full of fresh peppers. I cut the peppers in half and roasted them in the oven to soften and release some of the hot oils. Once roasted, I placed them in a food processor and buzzed them until they were as liquefied as possible. This process led to a nice texture of very small specs of chili flesh.

I sometimes have a difficult time finding dried chiles in Saskatoon. Sobey’s used to carry them years ago, and EE Buritos market on 22nd Street have some varieties as well. Believe it or not, I found them at the Co-op grocery store on 8th Street. They have a GREAT selection! I love dried chili peppers! I love the dark, caramel colour they produce when hydrated and the slightly raisin like flavour. To prepare these peppers, I broke them open and emptied out the seeds. I then broke them up into smaller pieces and hydrated them in some simmering water. After they simmered for a couple of minutes, I let them sit with the lid on for an hour or so with the heat off. I then strained them (reserving some of the flavourful liquid) and buzzed them in the food processor until it turned into a paste.

In  a large pot, I put in the roasted peppers and all juice collected. I brought it to a simmer and added some tomato paste. I used that for texture and thickness… a lot of gourmet hot sauces use some tomato as a base. I added the chili paste and some of the water I reserved from soaking the chiles. I cooked the loose mixture for quite some time until thickened. During this time I added cider vinigar, sugar, and a variety of spices. I added things in small quantities at a time and tasted as I went. When it was finished cooking, I added it to some sterilized mason jars so it will keep for a long time.

This sauce is actually really good. Thanks to the Naga and Habanero peppers, it’s really hot. I have given some away and it has had a favorable response.

So why make your own hot sauce? Why spend the time? Because making things yourself  is fun! It’s a good way to get a custom taste and to ensure that the food doesn’t have junk ingredients. If after you make some and the sauce tastes like garbage, don’t stress. It’s not a big deal… try again.


2 Responses to “Homemade Hot Sauce… Why Not?”

  1. dcspiceboy July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Great blog! I’m going to try my own hot sauce soon. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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